Teen actress Hilary Duff quickly rose to fame on the strength of her winning performance on the successful television series Lizzie McGuire. Born in Houston, TX, September 28, 1987, she developed an interest in dance at the age of six and began taking ballet lessons, later making her stage debut in a Christmas production of The Nutcracker. She developed a stronger passion for acting after being cast in a television commercial, and, in 1998, appeared in the direct-to-video Casper Meets Wendy as Wendy, a youthful witch.
After taking on more dramatic roles in the made-for-TV movie The Soul Collector and a guest appearance on Chicago Hope, Duff was cast in the title role of Lizzie McGuire in 2001. A sitcom for young people, Lizzie McGuire concerned the trials and tribulations of middle-school student Lizzie as she and her animated alter ego deal with the funny side of adolescence. An immediate hit on The Disney Channel, the show made Duff a recognizable face to television viewers, and Disney quickly responded by casting her in a made-for-cable movie, Cadet Kelly, which earned high ratings. In 2002, the actress also made a brief appearance in the offbeat comedy Human Nature, playing Young Lila, a hirsute child who grows up to become Patricia Arquette.